"Volunteers Are In High Demand"

The government has mobilized a large number of volunteers in the post-earthquake work. Shiva Raj Chaulagain, director of National Development Volunteer Service, spoke to New Spotlight on various issues of volunteering. Excerpts

June 13, 2015, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol: 09 No. -1 June. 12- 2015 (Jestha 29, 2072)

How do you mobilize the volunteers?

We have been mobilizing the volunteers in various sectors for the last many years. We have been mobilizing the volunteers in 72 districts, in health, livestock, civil engineering and agriculture. Following the earthquakes, the government has declared 14 districts as the most affected. With the aim to assess the nature and extent of damage, the National Planning Commission has decided to mobilize 170 civil engineers and 30 architect engineers.  We received over 250 applications and we sent them to concerned DDCs. Some of them left due to low salary and insurance. There is a high drop rate. We have again revaluated the application. We have now sent 197 volunteers in various quake affected areas.

They are now working under DDC, in five-member teams formed by government, as civil engineer. They have been actively working there. We have continued to hear demands from the DDCs.

How are you coordinating with various other volunteer organizations?

We are also playing a coordinating role. As Himalayan Climate Initiative, Act Nepal, and Karma Nepal came with us and showed interest to work in a collaborative manner with the NDVS, we gave them the permission to do so.  We also gave them our logo. According to them, more than 20,000 youths are now mobilized in different parts of Nepal to carry out various work as volunteers. We are supporting all government office work.

We have now 1303 volunteers. There are more than 20000 volunteers working in the region.

What benefits others will get if they work collaboratively with NDVS?

There is a lot of advantage. For instance, there will be a sense of ownership. NPC will take their data. The government will take the ownership. The data are available.

We have given them terms of reference, in damage assessment, costing and identification of the place for resettlement.

What will be the role of NDVS in reconstruction?

We need to send the persons with the capability to work. In this context, we have already decided to mobilize 1500 students, who are now studying in civil and electric overseers courses. We have already talked with the Ministry of Finance. The aim of the program is to facilitate the reconstruction process. They will support in the process in various ways. With the involvement of technicians, the reconstruction will be much better. Our institutions will be active.

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